Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Garmin 50 Watch Review

December 2, 2008 by · 5 Comments 

Garmin 50

Garmin 50

A friend of mine recently bought a Garmin 50 that I felt compelled to pull a Sylar on.

Having an EDGE 705 GPS device for my bike, I figured the Garmin 50 was a cool supplement I could get for my days when I wanted to just have my heart rate orĀ  train on a bike indoors. Being that it is cheap compared to its older siblings, it is very much in the ‘reasonable alternative to a digital watch‘ category, but does it truly live up to that expectation?

My first passes at figuring it out were met with some disappointment as the user interface is a huge step back from the EDGE series or even the Forerunner series. It feels like an old school digital watch with the other features stapled on, but they are there, and I assure you, they do work.

I set up the foot pod and the heart rate, gave it a go, and then set up the clumsy Garmin windows software on my bootcamp partition (they don’t have a Mac client yet). It loaded my info to as well as to the training app. Both apps displayed my recorded data as well as with my EDGE 705, just without the location data. The footpod was off from the actual distance, as expected, but you can calibrate it, so no worries. The pairing process was simple enough on all accounts even on data transmit, so that was another tick in the box.

Overall, the experience of the Garmin 50 is sort of like a digital watch from the late 90’s with a little more features, but doesn’t feel like its older siblings in terms of sophistication. It does its job, and because of the connectivity with the training program and I think it is a good deal for the money, but I’m not sure I’d like it as a digital watch replacement, not with many watches having great definition screens these days.

From what I’ve read around, you can expect the battery to last somewhere between 1 and 2 years. Build quality is nice and solid, and overall, it’s a decent looking piece of kit.

I would recommend it, but just.

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